What Chicago Cubs Fans Can Take from Their Series in Minnesota
It's not so much of an architectural tweak as it is a demolition.
There are certain laws in Chicago, as there are in many other cities, regarding reconstruction. While permits and zoning laws are brutally difficult to navigate if you choose to tear a structure limb from limb in an effort to start with a clean slate, they are drastically different if you choose to keep a bathroom wall from the original structure.
One is a tear down. The other is "an addition". If you keep any part of the original structure like a bathroom wall—ONE BATHROOM WALL—you are not forced to obey the same laws.
This is where we are with the Cubs. While in all certainty this is a total rebuild, from the farm on up, they are "allowing" us to believe we are just tweaking.
The series in Minnesota changes all of that.
Reed Johnson and Joe Mather
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I am a huge Reed Johnson fan. The catch in Washington is one of my favorites of all time.
Joe Mather despite having played for St. Louis is a heck of player and was the Cubs' best player in spring training.
With all of that said, let's be real here for a minute.
Both are being showcased. Neither one fits in the Cubs' plans. Mather is 30 in a month. Johnson is 35.
Johnson is the perfect 4th outfielder for a contender who needs someone to get on base, a team like the Tigers. They have the boppers in the lineup but they need someone to get on base and play solid, if not spectacular, OF defense.
Mather is a guy who could start for a lot of teams including the Cubs if they didn't have Campana, Jackson and Szczur waiting in the wings.
Campana sat so Mather could potentially showcase some skills and become a more tradeable chip.
Bottomline, both are gone in the next two months. Johnson especially helped going 6-13 in the series with 4 runs scored.
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I think Soriano might be under contract for a few years. Pretty sure it's manageable, not a bad contract. A contract that is completely within reason determined by his productivity over the last few years.
Still with me?
We can all say what we want from Soriano, but he is a pro. He never complains. No, he hasn't played as well as we would have liked or he would have liked. He never pops off at the mouth—about anything. Never unleashes at fans or management. I am a fan of the man.
Soriano needs to go so we get into the full blown "tweaking".
Have you checked Soriano's stats over the last month?
He was batting .237 with 0 HRs and 11 RBIs and an OBP of .250.
He's now batting .275 with 12 HRs and 40 RBIs with an OBP of .320.
That's a HUGE jump.
He knows the Cubs want to trade him. He knows he is untradable. He knows he has just a couple of years to play for a contender and the Cubs are not going to be a contender during those years. He has to show that he's worth something.
I'm not Nostradamus, or anyone like that, but I have said—as have many of you—that Soriano would fit better in a platoon role between OF and DH. He needs more rest. He's 35.
Playing in Minnesota he was able to showcase some DH skills going 6-13 with 4 runs scored, 3 HRs, 5 RBIs and only 1K in cavernous Target Field. He is stating his case.
Let's hope someone bites. I know we'll have to pay a chunk, but the better he plays, the more we get back in return.
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Here's what Dempster had to say recently about trade speculation:
“I think I would be doing everybody in that locker room and anybody who is a Cubs fan and most importantly the Cubs organization a huge disservice if I didn’t put all my focus and attention on trying to make my start and do the best I can to help us win . . . By doing that you’re ultimately helping the team. You’re in a situation where if it does happen they are going to do what’s best for the Chicago Cubs, and I’m all for that.”
“I don’t know what direction they want to go, I don’t know any of those answers,” Dempster continued later. “Whatever it ends up being I’ll have to take a look at it and see what’s the best for me, best for the Cubs and I respect that and I understand that."
“Hopefully I’m here, but if not it’s somewhere that can ultimately give them the best opportunity to improve the Cubs for the future. I believe I’m a part of that and trying to help us for the future and help us for the present as well.”
I love this guy. I hate to lose this guy. Talk about a player who understands and accepts what it means to be a Cub, to root for the Cubs to live the "Wrigley life", this is the guy. Dempster is nearing Grace-like status.
Cubs were in the middle of a brutal 1-8 run to start June and Demp takes the mound. He goes 8, strikes out 6 and allows 0 runs. Cubs win.
I would much rather see Demp retire a Cub than go through the trade route, but we have to do we have to do and he gets it. He gets it! How rare is that?
Demp will be done at the deadline and we'll get a nice enough haul for him. Still makes me said.
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Another Cub who ain't gonna be a Cub for long. He was a great pick up for Al Albuquerque. (Not kidding)
Baker has consistently underwhelmed and he's 31 in a week.
Ummm.... bye bye. We already have Barney who will fill this role in the coming years. As Lake and Baez mature we'll decide whether they're it or that's it.
Either way, Baker played 2 out of 3 of the MN series to the tune of 1-7 with 2Ks, 1 RBI.
He too was being shown off to other teams.
Way to take advantage Baker! Can we get a bag of balls for this guy? Or Al Albuquerque back?
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Hill was brought back solely because Castillo was sucking life and Clevenger and Soto were hurt.
I'm a fan of the man, just not the player. He's good enough behind the plate but he is a total casualty at the plate. He is on the block and a candidate to be released. He's not our future. He's barely our now.
Some other team will be lucky to have him as a back up. I love to see him come back as coach, regaling youngsters about the time he cut off 4 fingers.
Good man. Too bad he's a not a good player.
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This is why we are all going to look back on this series and realize this is where it all changed; this is where the Cubs began their moves in earnest.
As a Cub fan I am looking forward to the future.
Do we keep Castro? Trade him? There a couple of good trades out there—go ask Zach Katsulis, Contributor 1 on this site.
It'll certainly be interesting for the next couple of years.
I believe we went from exploiting the bathroom wall theory of renovation in favor of the complete rebuild.
Tweaking? We're not LA fans. We don't tweak.